Auditions are on January 7 and 8, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., by appointment only. Callbacks are scheduled for January 9. Call the Arvada Center Box Office at 720-898-7200 to schedule an appointment time. Please do not contact the production staff to schedule an appointment. Actors must be 18 years & older to audition.
General Audition Requirements:
Experienced actors with strong acting abilities are needed. See the character breakdown (below) for specifics on available roles. Actors should prepare one minute monologue of the style and period of the piece. A current headshot and résumé are required. Audio and video submissions will not be considered. Equity members must have a current equity ID card. This is an Equity LORT D production, non-equity actors will be considered. Individuals of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds are needed and encouraged to audition for all roles.
Rehearsal and Performance Dates:
Rehearsals for The Archbishop’s Ceiling begin on March 3, 2015. The production opens on March 24 and runs through April 19, 2015. Performances are Tuesday through Saturday evenings with matinees on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays for a total of eight shows per week.
THE STORY: The setting is an ornate room in a former Archbishop's palace in an Eastern European capital, a room which has probably been bugged by the secret police. The central character is a middle-aged author, Sigmund, who, having embarrassed the current regime, is faced with the choice of detention and punishment or defection to the West. He is encouraged in the latter by two of his former friends, also writers, his compatriot Marcus, an ex-political prisoner now in favor with the regime, and Adrian, a visiting American with strongly liberal ideals. The situation is complicated by the presence of Maya, a poet and actress, who has been the mistress of all three. It is the complexity of the relationship of these four, the inextricable interweaving of politics, art and sex, and the constant uncertainty as to whether what they say may be overheard that makes for a rich and deeply intriguing play—and one that, in the final essence, raises questions not only about morality and individual responsibility but also about the very nature of reality in a world where absolutes seem to shift and blur as expediency dictates.
From Arthur Miller, in the introduction to the play: "What happens, in short, when people know they are--at least most probably, if not certainly--at all times talking to Power, whether through a bug or a friend who is really an informer? Is it not something akin to accounting for oneself to a god? After all, most ideas of God see him as omnipresent, invisible, and condign in his judgments; the bug lacks only mercy and love to qualify, it is conscience shorn of moral distinctions."
Adrian (M, 30s-40s): American writer. Quite famous after a string of successes. He is grounded in principle, which results in both arrogance and naiveté. Fiercely loyal to his friends. Wants to do the right thing and is often unsure what that is. Respects Marcus and Sigmund as contemporaries, and looks up to Sigmund, as well. He is aware of his station in life, and the good fortune of being born an American. Charming, humorous, intelligent.
Maya (F, 30s-40s): Speaks with a Czech accent. One-time poet and playwright, now host of an innocuous Saturday morning television show. Seems to be weighted down by the current state of her country, and carries both sensuality and melancholy about her. Has been the lover of all three men, was until recently the wife of Marcus, and still occasionally resides in his home (the former Archbishop’s house; setting for the play). Possibly working directly for the state, or possibly just shedding her dissident ideology as she gets older, or possibly covering up her true and continuing revolutionary ideology out of fear of the current government. Believes strongly in Sigmund’s newest book, and wants it to be published because of/despite what it reveals about her country’s current political condition. Reserved, intelligent, occasionally fiery.
Sigmund (M, 40s-60s): Speaks with a Czech accent. The country’s most famous – and most revolutionary – novelist of the time. His current work is an expose of the political regime, and has been confiscated. He has been openly monitored and intimidated by the government, and is faced with punishment if he stays in his country. He has the opportunity for a very comfortable life in exile in the States, but cannot bear to leave his birthplace, whatever the consequences. He overtook Marcus’ position as the most famous writer in the country while Marcus was in prison for political crimes, and although Sigmund now considers Marcus a contemporary, there is skepticism and jockeying between them. Headstrong to a fault, intelligent, loyal, precise.
Marcus (M, 40s-50s): Speaks with a Czech accent. For a time, the most famous writer in the country, prior to imprisonment for political crimes. Marcus is now in the favor of the current regime and likely working for it. The setting of the play is Marcus’ residence, which has (possibly) been bugged by the government to entrap artists. Very pragmatic, he seems to want the best for Sigmund but could also secretly be working to have him arrested. It is unclear if he has an affinity for the current government out of a newfound principle, or if he is simply enjoying the fruits of being ‘an insider.’ Intelligent, enigmatic, by turns friendly and acerbic.
Irina (F, 20s-30s): Speaks with a Danish accent. Speaks very little English. Arrives on Marcus’ arm. Provides a true outsider perspective – one who does not know the language or the customs or the history of the country, and certainly is unaware of the gravity of the current situation. Seems naïve and provides a good deal of humor. While the other characters are discussing politics, art, freedom, life and death, Irina repeatedly interrupts with requests for music, dancing, and food. Pretty, probably blond, ebullient.